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The very determined "PC police" have sealed themselves a wonderful victory against a popular YouTube vlogger for making a joke. You, the readers, will have to decide for yourselves whether the gag is comedic or even appropriate. You'll also have to decide whether the punishment fits the crime. I'll help you find the simple answer to the latter, it's an obvious no.
Self described "professional s***poster" Mark Meechan was found guilty of a hate crime for a video he posted on YouTube that features an adorable pug imitating a Nazi salute. Meechan, who also goes by his online persona Count Dankula, taught the pup the trick and even asked if it wanted to "gas the Jews.”
The video (below) has been around for a couple years, but has apparently skirted some line between what's protected under free speech and what isn't. Well it was determined on Monday that the YouTuber infringed on the Communications Act of Britain. Meechan was found guilty of the charge.
This isn't a debate about what's funny and what's not, I could take the video or leave it. Nothing about it is terribly funny or all that creative, and I can definitely understand that some people will find it offensive.......... So what?
As Sheriff Derek O’Carroll (the man who found Meechan guilty) stated “the description of the video as humorous is no magic wand." That's true, calling something funny doesn't make it so, but that doesn't mean that a lack of comedic integrity should result in criminal charges. Will viewing this video make individuals go put on a pointed hood and light a torch? No. Will people see the adorable pug perform the trick and tattoo a swastika on their chest? No. Anyone that makes those choices had those beliefs to begin with.
So it comes down to the government protecting peoples feelings. If you don't like the video then don't view it again, or at all! If you're saying Nazism can't be funny, then you're not a comedy fan. Comedians everywhere have poked fun at Hitler and his Nazis, even going so far to reference the Holocaust. Is the Holocaust funny? Absolutely not, but a joke on the subject can be.
The fact remains that this is a man who made a video he thought would be funny. If it's not a good video then he'll be lost in obscurity anyway. It looks at first as though Meechan is guilty of breaking Section 127 of the Act, until you look closer. The act specifies that only credible threats of violence, harassment, stalking which specifically targets an individual or individuals, or a breach of a court order can be prosecuted. This video committed absolutely zero of those crimes, period. Luckily, legendary comedians are coming to the defense.
This is the road we are traveling. The more the government decides what we can or cannot say, the more we lose our ability to have a unique identity. Shame on the judicial system across the pond. At least the "criminal" is seemingly taking all this in stride....